By: Kristin Clements-Effner, MSW Training Coordinator/Cofounder
When you hear the words “get involved” in the community, what comes to mind? The typical answer has something to do with volunteering, whether you are tutoring a child, distributing food at a food pantry or planting a tree. There are a multitude of ways that one can volunteer in our community to make a difference and it is an intrical part in creating a thriving community. However, Catalyst values much more than volunteerism as an avenue to make a difference. Our first organizational value is: We embrace a broad definition of civic participation and action.
Civic participation and action can take on many forms and all are a piece of the puzzle. Volunteering your time is one way to utilize skills and interests to get engaged in meaningful ways, but supporting local business or shopping at a farmers market is just as important in creating valuable community connections and investment.
Civic participation and action could involve giving money to a local cause, making lifestyle choices that are for the betterment of the greater good (think recycling, shopping fair trade), attending a community forum, or taking a meal to a neighbor. We do not feel that any one avenue of engagement is better than another.
The truth is we are all unique and different things speak to different individuals. There is no one size fits all way to change the world, as much as we try to fit people in boxes. Catalyst strives to cultivate discussion around all types of engagement to change the paradigm and demonstrate the value in all options in making Indianapolis a keystone community for engagement.
What ways do you choose to make a difference?